This is a chat between Om Malik and Jonathan Heiliger VP, Technical Operations, Facebook.
Jonathan says that hardware isn’t built for the cloud, that all hardware is designed for multi-function use in enterprises. He apparently blasted the chip makers last year and is backing away from that now. He’s saying that Facebook tests performance better than the chip vendors. No kidding, everyone tests better than the chip vendors. I’m a little surprised that they’re talking about this like news. Certainly, PC Mag wasn’t reporting that for the last 20 years, right?
We should focus on massively multi-core chips. We need software written to take advantage of multi-core and the apps we develop do also. Facebook makes full use of multi-core, especially where it makes sense like analytics. They’re big on horizontal scaling and the idea is to have many multi-cores. They started writing apps in PHP because it is easy, but it’s not fast. They had options and wrote hip-hop for PHP so it’s pre-compiled on the web server.
There are apparently 400 million Facebook users.
They systems are constantly evolving. They’re building a data center in Oregon. All of the bullshit (my word) they announced at F8 requires better back end technology. And they like to open source all of their innovations. They’re very proud of building technology to solve the problems they have.
Consumer websites starting today should be built in the cloud and be running really fast. But the cloud isn’t free. You can focus on building your product and probably waste less money on staff. Let someone else worry about the infrastructure and you can focus on the business.
After the business grows, you’ll reach a point where you’re writing a considerable check each month for the cloud services. Plus you’ll have learned more about your own systems that you’ll want to customize them. Can you really customize cloud offerings? When you’re approaching 10’s of millions of customers it’s time to get off the cloud and build your own data center for control, lower costs, and increase performance.
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